Leaving It Behind 2018

Magi2

The Mystery of the Magi Matthew 2:1-18

It is a common misconception that the wise men visited Jesus at the stable on the night of His birth. In fact, the wise men came days, or even months later (some theologians even say years later while the family lived in Nazareth). That is why Matthew 2:11a says the wise men visited and worshiped Jesus in a house with his mother Mary, not at the stable.  Joseph was likely working late!

We assume that there were three wise men because of the three gifts that were given: gold, incense, and myrrh (Matthew 2:11b); however, the Bible does not say there were only three wise men. There could have been many more. Tradition also says that there were three and that their names were Gaspar/Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar/Balthazar, but since the Bible does not say, we have no way of knowing for sure.

We know that the magi were learned astrologers (wise men) from “the East,” most likely Persia, or modern-day Iran. This means the wise men traveled from 800 to over1000 miles to see the Christ child– a long and dangerous journey into a foreign land. Traveling by camel at that time it would have taken many months. These men were wealthy and would have traveled with an entourage of servants, soldiers and supplies.  It is no wonder why Matthew states that “King Herod and all of Jerusalem was disturbed” by their arrival.  Most likely, the magi knew of and studied the writings of the prophet Daniel, who in time past had been the chief of the court seers in Persia. Daniel 9:24-27 includes a prophecy which gives a timeline for the birth of the Messiah. Also, the magi may have been aware of the prophecy of Balaam (who was from the town of Pethor on the Euphrates River near Persia) in Numbers 24:17. Balaam’s prophecy specifically mentions a “star coming out of Jacob.”

The wise men were guided to look for the King of the Jews by a miraculous stellar event, the “Star of Bethlehem,” which they called “His star” (Matthew 2:2).  This star could have even been a pillar of fire like God used to guide the children of Israel through the desert.  The magi came to Jerusalem and asked concerning the birth of Christ, and they were directed to Bethlehem (Matthew 2:4–8). They followed God’s guidance joyfully (Matthew 2:10). When they arrived in Bethlehem, they gave costly gifts to Jesus and worshiped Him. God warned them in a dream against returning to Herod, so, in defiance of the king, they left Judea by another route (Matthew 2:12).  Upon their leaving, an angel told the “holy family” to flee to Egypt (Matthew 2:14-15) where they stayed until Herod died.  Meanwhile Herod ordered the slaughter of all Jewish baby boys who were two years old and under in order to secure his place as “King of the Jews”.

 It is most likely that Mary and Joseph used the three gifts that the Magi gave to travel to and live in the land of Egypt until Herod’s death.  The symbols of the gifts are also evident:  Gold: A gift for a king. Frankincense: priestly incense which represents prayer. Myrrh: A fragrant perfume, used in embalming bodies. The three gifts together also underline the Messiah as being our prophet, priest and king.

 What does the word Epiphany mean?

1capitalized : January 6 traditionally observed as a church festival in commemoration of the coming of the Magi. 2 : an appearance or manifestation especially of a divine being  3: an illuminating discovery, realization, or disclosure (a revealing scene or moment).

The Gathering enjoys celebrating Epiphany on the Sunday closest to January 6 to both remember the significance of the Magi coming to worship Christ and to recognize the importance of God’s New Year’s revelations in our own lives.

Leaving It Behind in 2018 Matthew 13:44-46, 19:29-30

Tonight at midnight we will end the year 2017 and begin a new year.  What we choose to leave behind and what we choose to embrace will make all the difference in our lives.  In our first lesson of Epiphany we can learn from the Wise Men in regards to what they left behind to follow the star in search of the promised Messiah. 

The Magi were wealthy men who lived in luxury and great comfort.  They were likely men who had at least some fame among those in their society and yet they left this all behind to follow that star. The Parables of the Hidden Treasure and the Pearl of Great Price that Jesus told his disciples are reminiscent of their actions.  When you discover something of great value it prompts you to action.  That action always includes leaving something behind to move ahead.  To this action Jesus said:

And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first.

Matthew 19:29-30

What is God telling you to leave behind as you move into this New Year?  For some of you this question has become a sudden epiphany.  An illuminating discovery revealed to you by the Holy Spirit.  You know exactly what God is telling you to leave behind as you follow Him into the New Year.  Will you do it?  For others of you this is your call to search as the wise men did.  Will you search out the truth of God’s word concerning the direction of your life?  Will you follow as He reveals His truth          to you?

How Far Will You Go? Proverbs 3:5-6, 2 Corinthians 4:18

We have no idea what trials the Magi encountered on their long journey, but we can be sure they had them.  The scripture even indicates that the star wasn’t always in view or why would they have stopped to ask for directions?  God reveals things to us but He also asks us to trust in Him with all of our heart and not to lean on our own understanding.  Mary and Joseph certainly had dark times, but they discovered through the Magi—where God guides He provides.  Will we choose to believe even when the “star” is not shining?  Keep following on faith friends even into that dark night— for what is seen is temporal and what is unseen is eternal.

 

 

The message above was taught at The Gathering Church by Pastor Barry Bruce.  We are located at 22427 Norwalk Blvd., Hawaiian Gardens, CA 90716 (562.429.2397) If you don’t have a church then come and visit some time.  Our services are Sundays @ 9AM and 11AM  You can also check us out at facebook.com/thegatheringchurch1 and at our ministry organization at thewayout.org

Love Comes: Joy To The World!

JoyToTheWorldIsaac Watts “Revolutionary of Worship”

Isaac Watts was the most prolific hymn writer of his day (1674-1748).  He is known for writing such timeless hymns as “Behold the Glories of the Lamb” and “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross.” However, Watts is best known for writing the hymn “Joy to the World”—a song played worldwide during Christmas every year.  During his lifetime Watts was considered by many to be a disturbance of the status quo and even possibly a    heretic for the lyrics he wrote. While he wasn’t a heretic, he was a revolutionary. Watts grew up in a world where the music in every worship service consisted only of psalms or sections of Scripture put to music. Watts found the practice monotonous. To him, there was a lack of joy and emotion among the congregants as they sang. He once famously said, “To see the dull indifference, the negligent and thoughtless air that sits upon the faces of a whole assembly, while the psalm is upon their lips, might even tempt a       charitable observer to suspect the fervency of their inward religion.”

Watts’s father issued a challenge. He told Watts that if he struggled with the songs they sang, then he ought to do something about it. This moment set Watts on a lifelong pursuit to write lyrics that exalted Christ and reminded Christians of their hope in his saving work on the cross.

The Second Coming Psalm 96:11-13, Psalm 98, Genesis 3:17-18, Revelation 11:15

While “Joy to the World” is primarily sung at Christmas, it’s not about the incarnation. Rather, the song tells the story of Christ’s return—his second coming. We know this for at least three reasons. First, the song speaks of the earth and nature receiving her King: Joy to the world! The Lord is come; Let earth receive her King;

Let every heart prepare him room, And heaven and nature sing (Psalm 96:11-13, Psalm 98)

But is that what happened when Christ came? Scripture tells us that he was not readily received by everyone.  He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. (Isaiah 53:3)  The earth did not receive her King but like sheep, went astray. Still, we know that there will be a day when this will not be so: God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow… (Philippians 2:9-10)  On that day, both heaven and nature will sing out and repeat the sounding joy for all eternity.

Second, we know this hymn is a song of Christ’s second coming because verse 3 talks about sins and sorrows being no more: No more let sins and sorrows grow, Nor thorns infest the ground;

He comes to make his blessings flow; Far as the curse is found (Genesis 3:17-18)

We know that this is not our current experience. In Mark 13 Jesus foretold what was yet to come after his death when he said: For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom… (Mark 13:8).  The world is not sin-free. The world is not void of sorrow. Not yet, at least. Jesus told us that we should not be alarmed when we hear of the world’s brokenness. Why? Because “this must take place, but the end is not yet” (Mark 13:7). Hebrews 10 tells us: When Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, (in love: John 3:16) he sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. (Hebrews 10:12-13)

Although the fulfillment of all Christ’s work is not fully expressed this side of eternity, we know there will be a day when it is. Christ sits at the Father’s right hand, waiting until the perfect moment—a time when all good things will come to fruition. So we have hope.

Third, the final verse reveals that this hymn is about the second coming. It says:

He rules the world with truth and grace, And makes the nations prove                                       The glories of his righteousness, And wonders of his love (Revelation 11:15)

These final lines speak of how the nations will take an active role in revealing the glory of God. We know that all the nations of the earth are ultimately subject to God’s ever-sovereign hand. He is the one who gives authority, and he’s the one who takes it away. He uses every mistake, every poor decision, every war, every calamity, and every season of prosperity, all for his glory. But we have not yet seen the nations of this world intentionally seeking to prove the wonders and glories of our ultimate King. In fact, they often seek to defame the name of God. But he will not share his glory with another. The Bible states all throughout its contents that all the nations will worship before Him.(Psalms 85:9). The day will come when we can say, “He rules the world with truth and grace, and makes the nations prove” This will be at His second coming and begin on the earth for 1000 years and then in the kingdom of heaven forevermore. (Revelation 20:2,7,11,21:1-4) 

So why do we sing this song at Christmas? It is clearly a song about Christ’s second coming— but wait… there is no second coming without a first coming!

Christmas is not only a time to look back at the grace of God revealed in our past. Christmas is also a time to look forward to the grace poured out for our future. The Joy of the world has come but He is coming again, and His light is revealed in we   who believe

Light up the World With His Love 1 Thessalonians :4-1, 1John 4:18

Light up the world Christians with the Love & Joy He has poured out on you.  He is coming again so live as “children of the light”until He comes again.  Shout for Joy this Christmas and forever more!

Joy Complete

AngelShepherdsHARK!                                                                                                                                                   To “hark” means to listen and that is exactly what the great English leader and hymn writer of the Methodist movement, Charles Wesley, wanted his singers to do when they sung the Christmas hymn Hark The Herald Angels Sing.  It is so easy for us to sing a song or hear a sermon without really listening and thinking.  This is a song of reflection and proclamation! 

 Charles’ brother John Wesley was the great preacher and is considered the organizational genius behind the founding of Methodism. But without the hymns of Charles, the Methodist movement may have gone nowhere. As one historian put it, “The early Methodists were taught and led as much through [Charles’s] hymns as through John Wesley’s sermons”.  Charles Wesley wrote more than 6,000 hymns but this one was written within a year of his conversion, The inspiration of his newly-made contact with God was still fresh. Rather than simply tell the nativity story, Wesley pours theological truths into this text. The first verse tells the story of the angels proclaiming Christ’s birth, and the second and third verses go on to make it very clear why the angels sang. Simply by describing Christ, Wesley tells us the entire Gospel story. We are told of Christ’s nature, his birth and incarnation, his ministry, and his mission of salvation.  The last 4 verses of the hymn (rarely sung) deeply dive into the prophecy and theology of our salvation.  The hymn is a curious    mixture of exclamation, exhortation, and theological reflection. The focus shifts rapidly from angels, to us, to nations. The song produces in us a childlike response of faith; we too can sing ‘Glory to the newborn King!’

PROCLAMATION OF JOY  Luke 2:8-11, John 3:16-18, Hebrews 1:3-5                                    The song focuses on the proclamation of the angels found in Luke 2:8-11. A “Herald” is a messenger and in this case it is the angels of God proclaiming Jesus’ birth.  The good news is that God and sinners are reconciled through this “peace child” and all nations are invited to “rise” and respond.  God’s peace treaty with man is found in Jesus and whoever rises to believe in Him will not perish but have everlasting life; however, it is important for us to take note of the fact that there is no peace treaty without Christ but only condemnation.  The song proclaims scripture:  Jesus is the exact representation of God and far superior to the angels that proclaimed Him that first Christmas eve.  All of Heaven knows this and all of Heaven adores Jesus. He is Deity (God), and He is trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit: three persons in one).  He is the prophesied Immanuel.  God in the flesh…God with us.

Some might say that Christ appeared to come “late in time” but as God’s word says:      The Lord is not slow to fulfill His promise as some understand slowness, but is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.  2 Peter 3:9

 Just as Christ came once to be the reconciler He will come once again in judgment of those who rejected His “peace treaty”. His time of favor has come to all men…now is the time to   come to Him if you have not already. Now is the day of salvation.

For He says: “In the time of favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.” Behold, now is the time of favor; now is the day of salvation!                                  2 Corinthians 6:2

He is the Sun of righteousness.  In other words the fire that refines us.                                For our God is a consuming fire.   Hebrews 12:29

 He is born that we may no more die:                                                                                         “He who believes in me will never die”  John 11:25  

Born to raise us from the earth:  and I will raise him up at the last day.”    John 6:40b

Born to give us second birth: You must be born again.” John 3:7b

SALVATION IS COMPLETE  John 15:11, Mark 4:9                                                                 “Joy” is defined simply as a feeling of great pleasure and happiness. And then is listed a list of synonyms: jubilation, triumph, exultation, rejoicing, happiness, gladness, glee, exhilaration, exuberance, elation, euphoria, bliss, ecstasy, and rapture.  People spend a lot of time, money and effort on getting joy.  Some actually become addicted to feeling great pleasure and as a result become trapped in drug or alcohol addictions, sex addictions, shopping addictions, gambling addictions, food addictions…the list goes on.  These obsessions actually rob us of the joy in salvation that God intended us to have.  Jesus said: I have told you these things so that My joy may be in you and your joy may be complete. John 15:11  Joy complete is only found in salvation!

The last four verses of Wesley’s hymn theologically explain salvation beginning in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:15) The “enmity” or hostility and hatred spoken of here is between Satan and Christ. The seed of the serpent, evil men and demonic forces, struck at the heel of the Savior when men conspired to condemn Jesus to be crucified. But His wound was not the final act. He rose the third day, having paid the price for the sin of all who would ever believe in Him. The ultimate victory was His, and He crushed the head of Satan, removing forever his rule over man. Our nature as children of God was ruined by sin but sin is conquered in Christ. Through the individuals faith in Christ a mystic union with Him takes place.  Upon our confession of Christ as Lord, the image of Adam’s sin is erased in us and the image of Christ appears in its place!  We are reinstated in His love, forgiven for our sin.  Guilt is replaced with joy and eternal hope!  Though we were once lost we can be found in Him as we impart  ourselves to His Lordship.  Do you want “Joy complete?” It is “Formed in each believer’s heart” as we trust ourselves to Jesus. Hark!  “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.”

The above message was given by Pastor Barry Bruce at The Gathering Church in Hawaiian Gardens.  Come and visit us at 22427 Norwalk Blvd., Hawaiian Gardens, CA 90716           You can also check us out at facebook.com/thegatheringchurch1

Heavenly Peace

BethlehemStarSilent Night Stille Nacht                                                                                                                      In 1818, the St. Nicholas’ church organ in  Oberndorf, a village near Salzburg wasn’t working and would not be repaired before Christmas. Pastor Josef Mohr recalled a poem he had written years before about the birth of Jesus and took it to the church organist, Franz Xaver Gruber. Gruber only had a few hours to come up with a melody which could be sung with a guitar; however, on that Christmas Eve, the little congregation heard Gruber and Mohr sing Silent Night (in German of course) for the first time to the accompaniment of a guitar.

Weeks later the organ builder arrived to fix the organ. When Gruber tested the instrument by playing the song the organ builder was so deeply impressed that he took copies of the music and words back to his own Alpine village and introduced it to two families of singers — the Rainers and the Strassers — The Strasser sisters spread the carol across northern Europe. Twenty years after “Silent Night” was written, the Rainers brought the song to the United States, singing it (in German) outside of New York City’s Trinity Church. In 1863, nearly fifty years after being first sung in German, “Silent Night” was translated into English.  Eight years later, that English version made its way into print in Charles Hutchins’ Sunday School Hymnal. Today the words of “Silent Night” are sung in more than 300 different languages around the world.

The simple song transports the listener or singer to that quiet stable in Bethlehem where shepherds trembled at the sight of their Savior bathed in Heaven’s radiant light. The song is one of Christmas’ favorites likely due to the fact that the “heavenly peace” the song speaks to is so desired by all living beings.  Yet as Mohr clearly states in the last words of the carol this peace is only available to those who make Jesus Lord.

Bethlehem Micah 5:2,  Luke 2:1-18                                                                                                 The above prophecy and fulfillment scriptures reveal the place where Jesus—the “Prince of Peace” would be born.  Bethlehem conjures up images of serene hillsides covered in sheep and shepherds, pristine countryside and sweet silent nights. If Bethlehem ever looked like that it sure doesn’t anymore!  Bethlehem is full of congested tiny streets, thousands of people, wheeling and dealing everywhere, and then cramped in a corner off a busy street—The Church of the Nativity. The only church spared during the Persian invasion of 614 when the invaders saw a mosaic on the facade showing the Magi – the three kings- dressed in Persian robes. Considering the site already theirs, they left the basilica alone.

 My wife and I, along with my daughter and a friend just got back from a eight day trip to Israel.  Terryl, Michelle, Tony and I included Bethlehem as part of our tour.  We entered the small door of the Church of the Nativity and found everything but “Heavenly Peace”. Hundreds of tourists and religious pilgrims were herded like cattle in a two and a half hour line winding back and forth like a Disney attraction. All the while we breathed in the constant bellows of the incense that the Coptic priests waved about us as they chanted and processed up and down the ornate altar.  After having to practically wage war in order to keep our spots in line we came to a steep marble stair case that descended to a four foot door where we squeezed into the musky grotto to see where baby Jesus was born.  The room was packed with people searching for that “Holy Night” but it wasn’t there.  A silver fourteen pointed star marked the spot where Jesus was born, but I almost got stepped on as I knelt down to touch it.  No time to contemplate that historic “silent night” so long ago.  We had to keep moving—there were hundreds crowding in behind us.  Soon we were outside the church in the busy city again—now with the screaming cries of a Muslim caller (muezzin) from the nearby minaret, summoning Muslims for the fifth mandatory worship (salat) of the day. Some Peace did finally come once we all got back safely on our tour bus and crossed the border back into Jerusalem.

Terryl, Michelle, Tony and I got home from Israel just one day before president Trump signed the declaration that the United States would officially acknowledge Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and that the United States Embassy would be relocating there.  It has been surreal to watch the news and see the very streets we walked down ignited in riots.  Not so many are touring Bethlehem today!  It’s ironic.  All of this where the “Prince of Peace” was born? 

Illusive Peace Jeremiah 8:10b-12, Luke 2:14, John 14:27                                                           People sing about, dream about, and fight about peace, but peace is an illusion without the “peacemaker” and I’m not talking about the gun (Colt .45 1832-1835).  The prophet Jeremiah warned his people about perusing life without God and the disastrous consequences that would  follow.  These consequences have repeated themselves throughout times and peoples.  History shows time and time again that apart from Christ there is no real or lasting peace.  A church can’t bring it, icons won’t bring it, treaties won’t last. The angels at Jesus’ birth promised peace (Luke 2:14) but only “to those on whom His favor rests”. Jesus clarified that statement in John 14:27.  Only Jesus can give peace.  When we rest in Jesus, Jesus gives us peace.  

Real Peace Isaiah 53:5-6, Philippians 2:8-11                                                                              The day after our “peaceless” tour of Bethlehem our tour group came upon the upper room where Jesus sat down with His disciples for the Last Supper.  Oddly enough, no one was in that room but our tour group.  There, our tour guide had us slowly sing Silent Night.  It will now always be the most beautiful rendition of the song I’ve ever heard.  Our voices echoed off of the very walls where Jesus said “Drink all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins”.  Matthew 26:27-28  “The punishment that brought us peace was on Him.” Isaiah 53:5b

Jesus’ birth alone did not bring peace or salvation and we can never find that “Heavenly Peace” without receiving the salvation that He brought us through His blood. The “dawn of His redeeming grace” has come.  One day every knee will bow to Him, but His peace will only come to those, who like the shepherds, willfully bow to Him now.  “Jesus, Lord at thy birth.”   

The above message is by Barry Bruce, the senior pastor at The Gathering Church in Hawaiian Gardens.  We invite you to come and visit some time at 22427 Norwalk Blvd., Hawaiian Gardens, CA 90716.  You can also visit us at facebook.com/thegatheringchurch1

The Thrill Of Hope

A Thrill of Hope

O Holy Night                                                                                                                                 Midnight Christians

Many don’t know that the classic Christmas hymn “O Holy Night” is a translation and paraphrase of the original French poem “Minuit, chrétiens” (“Midnight, Christians”) by Placide Cappeau (1808-1877). Below is the literal English translation of  Cappeau’s original work before it was changed to fit a musical score:

Midnight, Christians, it is the solemn hour,
When God-man descended to us
To erase the stain of original sin
And to end the wrath of His Father.
The entire world thrills with hope
On this night that gives it a Savior.

People kneel down, wait for your deliverance.
Christmas, Christmas, here is the Redeemer,
Christmas, Christmas, here is the Redeemer!

May the ardent light of our Faith
Guide us all to the cradle of the infant,
As in ancient times a brilliant star
Guided the Oriental kings there.
The King of Kings was born in a humble manger;
O mighty ones of today, proud of your greatness,

It is to your pride that God preaches.
Bow your heads before the Redeemer!
Bow your heads before the Redeemer!

The Redeemer has overcome every obstacle:
The Earth is free, and Heaven is open.
He sees a brother where there was only a slave,
Love unites those that iron had chained.
Who will tell Him of our gratitude,
For all of us He is born, He suffers and dies.

People stand up! Sing of your deliverance,
Christmas, Christmas, sing of the Redeemer,
Christmas, Christmas, sing of the Redeemer!

The Thrill of Hope                                                                                                                               It seems as though the world is consistently looking for a thrill of hope, this is why so many search and hope for a chance at a great deal. So many hope for a chance to make it rich because that will supposedly satisfy. They seek hope in a new President every four years to get the world in line. Some seek the thrill of hope in a new romance, some even hope in the most foolish things like awaiting a new movie or video game. Let’s look at what the Bible says about a few of these fleeting hopes.

man/politicians/human judgment-Psalm 146:3, Genesis 11:4, Proverbs 28:26,

Riches-1 Timothy 6:17, Proverbs 11:28, Luke 12:19-20, Proverbs 23:4

Strength/ Military might– Psalm 33:16-17, Psalm 20:7, Psalm 33:17, Isaiah 31:1-3

Now, there is nothing wrong with voting, studying your political choices, accepting or applying for that job promotion, or in wanting a stronger military or even being excited about that new blockbuster. However, there is something very wrong when any of these things take our eyes from the lasting hope of Jesus Christ. The poem speaks to this false hope in the second stanza:

O mighty ones of today, proud of your greatness, It is to your pride that God preaches. Bow your heads before the Redeemer! Bow your heads before the Redeemer!

We Christians have a lasting hope that never disappoints! It never fails, and is not a temporary hope that leaves us wanting but one that continuously satisfies.

Our Lasting Hope The woman at the well- John 4: 7-26                                                                This woman had been seeking for hope, worth, and value in man and clearly none filled the on-going thirst for more. Jesus speaks to her and of her need for salvation. Her hope needed to be put in Jesus Christ to fill her void, as the song says “the soul felt it’s worth”. He is our soul’s worth, our purpose, our song and our everlasting well.

 The Redeemer has broken every bond: The Earth is free, and Heaven is open.            He sees a brother where there was only a slave, Love unites those that iron had chained. Who will tell Him of our gratitude, For all of us He is born, He suffers and dies.

Heaven, our new hope Romans 8: 22-28, John 16:33                                                              This world is full of struggles and Jesus never promised that his salvation and redemption would cure all the struggles, war, health, and heart ache of this world. In fact, he told us the opposite (John 16:33) However with the promise of struggle came a new hope in the resurrection of Jesus that we too will someday be with him forever, where there is no tears and no pain, where our bodies will be made new along with our souls. What a hope we have in Jesus! Take heart, He has overcome the world!

With the prize of heaven in our hearts let us put our trust in Jesus and stop seeking hope in temporal things and people. Instead, let us walk in his truth and experience his promises becoming reality! No matter the trial or accomplishment let us keep our eyes on his truth. He works all things together for good for those that love Him and are called according to His purpose.

People, stand up! Sing of your deliverance,                                                              Christmas, Christmas, sing of the Redeemer

The above is a paraphrased message by Ryan Bruce at The Gathering Church in Hawaiian Gardens.  Stop by and see us at 22427 Norwalk Blvd., Hawaiian Gardens, Ca 90716.  You can also visit us at facebook.com/thegatheringchurch1